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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 21, 2004 / 1 Sivan, 5764

Politics and pictures

By Jonathan Tobin


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Images of brutality are historical markers for a generation


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Along with a group of local college students, I recently attended a screening of the documentary "Relentless." Reactions to the flick, which makes a cinematic argument for Israel's side in the conflict with the Palestinians, were mixed. But one comment stuck.


Responding to scenes that depicted the reactions of Palestinians to the Sept. 11 attacks and to terrorist atrocities committed against Israelis by their fellow Arabs, a Jewish student said she was appalled by the use of these images.


For her, the footage of the celebrations of a Palestinian mob in October 2000 following their lynching of two unarmed Israeli reservists was "dehumanizing" to Arabs.


Saying that were she a Palestinian, she would have been made uncomfortable by the film, the student asserted that there was nothing to be gained by the publication of these images, let alone that they be used for polemical purposes.


It was an honest reaction, but it also said a lot more about her politics — she was a keen critic of Israeli policies — than about the rights and wrongs of printing inflammatory photos of film footage.


How much should we see?


And that's the crux of much of the debate about just how much play news organizations should give controversial pictures from Iraq, whether of the mutilation and murder of American civilians or the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.


How far should we go in showing these images?


In each case, ethical concerns compete with the political advantages that the pictures may confer on different sides of the argument. One picture may or may not be worth a thousand words. But for President Bush and his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry, the question of how many thousands or millions of votes will be won by the photos that have come to define the war on terror and the conflict in Iraq is a serious business.

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Can the pictures of the Americans murdered, mutilated and then strung up in Falluja deepen the resolve of Americans to persevere in the fight in Iraq? Or do such pictures sicken people to the point where they are no longer willing to shed blood or treasure in the effort to create an Iraq that is not run by killers associated with Saddam Hussein's regime or to Islamist rebels linked to Al Qaeda?


In the same vein, the pictures of the abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers have also been seen as a potential catastrophe for the Bush administration.


Predictably some of those who argued for wider publication of the prisoner-abuse photos were reluctant to show those of the murder of Americans. The willingness of some journalists to give more space to one story than another says a lot about their opinions about Bush and the war. As in all political questions, where you sit depends on where you stand.


And then there was the video shown on an Islamist Web site depicting the horrifying murder of Nicholas Berg. This case highlights the fact that there is something else at play here. More important than the temporary advantages to be gained for partisans is the matter of respecting the dignity of the victims.


If every American spent time watching the Islamist snuff film that Berg's murderers posted, it might have some impact on their opinion about the cause of creating a terrorist-free Iraq.

IMAGES OF DEATH
But do Nick Berg and his grieving family deserve to have his death agonies fully exhibited on CNN or Fox News?


As much as it is the duty of the news media to honestly portray to the best of our ability the true story of Iraq, don't we also have an obligation to treat the victims with a degree of derech eretz — respect — that their killers didn't give them? His murderers may have gloried in showing Berg's dying moments and his battered remains, but should we be complicit in their sick exhibitionism?


Nor am I particularly eager to publish photos of members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad holding up pieces of Israeli soldiers they had slain as trophies, as they did last week on Palestinian television. In that case, where does the right of the people of Israel to know that their foes did such things figure into our complex equation?


It is instructive to remember that this is, after all, not a new debate. Historians have struggled with the same sort of dilemmas when it comes to publishing photos from the Holocaust. There is no shortage of horrifying pictures of the Nazis torturing and slaying Jews. We need to be confronted with the truth of these crimes. But must we strip these men, women and children of their modesty all over again by exhibiting them in their vulnerability and nakedness?


It is an unpleasant sensation to realize that such trophy photos taken by Nazi tormentors bear a strange resemblance to the Arab murder videos, as well as the snapshots taken by the disgraceful Americans who humiliated their Iraqi victims.


We need to see these things but we must always look at them with hesitancy lest they become a form of pornography. We must be equally vigilant in opposing those who would suppress certain images merely to preserve their illusions about the perpetrators or for political gain.


As much as I think that the dignity of the victims must be respected, I'm not particularly interested in sparing the feelings of those, like my student friend, who think that showing images of killers and their sympathizers "dehumanizes" them.


If there is any degradation going on in footage of those who celebrate death or glory in the humiliation of others, it is they who are degrading themselves. If this is the sort of thing that gains terrorist groups greater support from ordinary Palestinians, as the evidence seems to indicate, then that is exactly the sort of information journalists have an obligation to bring before the public.


Just as Americans must be aware of criminal behavior on the part of some of our soldiers, so, too, must we not allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that the war being waged against us — both here and in Israel — by Islamic terrorists isn't real. These are hard pictures to look at, but look at them we must if we wish to see the truth about the world in which we live.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

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© 2004, Jonathan Tobin